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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The Diseases of Language              419

the corresponding usage of the invariant verb tha when arranged in
parallel columns:

tha mi,    I am                    learn,    with me     (= le + mi)

tha thu,   thou art               leaty      with thee   (= le + thu\

tha srnn, we are                 leinn,    with us      (== le + sinn)

tha sibh,  you are                leibh,    with you    (= le + $ibh\

tha tad,   they are.              leotha,   with them (= le 4- iaŁ)

We can mvert this process of interpretation by using the personal
conjugation of the preposition as a clue to the personal flexion of Welsh
verbs in the two following examples3 which illustrate two types of con-
jugation corresponding to the two different forms (fi and rm) of the
Welsh pronouns of the first person

danaf,   (=dan+fi)        under me      wyf,   I am        (=v>ys+ft).
danat,   (=dan+ti)        under thee.    wyt,  thou art    (—wys+tt)
danoch, (=dan+chzo{)   under you     ych,   you are    (—wys -\-chwi).
danynt, (—dan+hwynt) under them    ynt,   they are    (=zoys-\- favy nt).
00
tm,       (=j+w/)          to me            bttms I was        (~bu+mi)
it '>         (—i+ti)            to thee           buost5 thou wert (=^4-^0
iwch,     (=t+chzui)       to you           buoch, you were (=bu-}-chw}
iddynty  (—i+kwynt)     to them.        buont, they were (—bu+hwynt)
The Celtic languages have many substitutes for the very hetero-
geneous system of roots which we call the verb to be The Irish as or
tsy the Welsh oes (cf. our own am or z$5 German ist> Sanskrit asmi), the
Gaelic bu, Welsh bod (cf. our be, German bin, Persian budan. Old
Saxon lium, Sanskrit bhavamf), are common Aryan roots. To these we
must add other peculiarly Celtic roots, such as the Gaelic tha and
Welsh mae. The several forms of the verb to be are very important in
Celtic usage Like Basic English, Celtic is remarkably thrifty in its use
of verbs Where we should say / feel, the Celt would say there is a
feeling in me Here is an Irish example of this characteristic Celtic
idiom, creud adhbhar na moicheirghe sin orfi In our language this
reads: why did you nse so early* Literally it means what cause of this
early rising by you? A Scots Highlander can use expressions containing
the equivalent to is to do the work of almost any other verb In his
idiom:
It will surprise you to hear this = There is a surprise for your ears.
The Celtic languages have several merits which might commend
themselves to the designer of an international auxiliary. One great virtue